Monday, 7 January 2013

Doctor Who 'The Eleventh Hour' Review

The Doctor and Amy Pond.

‘The Eleventh Hour’ is the first story of series five of the re-launched show and the first episode starring the eleventh Doctor Matt Smith.  The story begins with a newly regenerated Doctor crashing his Tardis in the small English town of Leadworth and meeting young Scottish girl Amelia Pond.  The Doctor and Amelia quickly form a connection with each other and she tells The Doctor of the scary crack in her bedroom wall.  The Doctor discovers that the crack is in fact a crack in time and space and that something may have passed through.

Unfortunately he is forced to leave as the Tardis begins to phase, but promises Amelia that he will be back in five minutes.  However, when The Doctor does return he’s run slightly astray and has arrived twelve years late, coming face to face with an adult Amelia, now going by the name Amy.  Having waited twelve years for The Doctor and been told by everyone else that he was simply a dream or imaginary friend Amy is initially very distrustful of The Doctor.

They quickly discover, however, that something had indeed passed through the crack in the wall all of those years ago and has since been hiding in Amy’s home.  Prisoner Zero, as it is called is a shape shifting alien on the run from the galactic police, the Atraxi.  Unfortunately the Atraxi have followed Prisoner Zero to earth and are threatening to burn the planet if it does not reveal itself. 

The Doctor and Amy work together to find a way of stopping Prisoner Zero and handing him over to the Atraxi before earth is destroyed.
Amy comes face to face with Prisoner Zero.
‘The Eleventh Hour’ had the difficult job of not only introducing a new Doctor and a new companion, but also managed a number of changes behind the scenes too.  With a new executive producer and head writer, as well as two new producers, it could have been easy for the first show of the new era to stumble slightly, instead they managed to create a great episode that not only kept old fans happy, but helped to create a jumping on point for people new to the show.

The casting in the show is also particularly well done, with Matt Smith as the latest incarnation of The Doctor.  The youngest actor to ever receive the role there were questions surrounding how well Smith would perform in the role, but in this episode he proves to be a competent and worthy addition to the part. 

We are also introduced to new companion Amy Pond, performed by Karen Gillan, and Amy’s boyfriend and future companion Rory Williams, played by Arthur Darvill.  Amy and Rory are set up brilliantly well in this episode, neatly and efficiently establishing their relationship, something that would become massively important in the future.
The Doctor 'tells off' the Atraxi.
Despite having not one, but two new alien threats in the episode the aliens almost take a back seat role in the story, instead the main focus being the relationship between the newly regenerated Doctor and Amy.  Moffat creates a wonderfully sweet relationship between the two of them, where despite waiting for The Doctor for fourteen years you honestly believe Amy would run off with The Doctor without second thought.

Quite possibly the best series opener and best introduction to a new Doctor since the show returned to screens in 2005, as well as a fun establishment of new companions Amy and Rory.  8/10


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